The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Not feeling the LOVE

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:52 pm on Monday, January 28, 2013

I think everybody in their job has this happen to them at some point in their career.  For me, I was listening to a sermon at church ( for any new readers I have..I am an evangelical Christian pharmacist), and it focused on LOVE.  It wasn’t about the love men and women  have for each other, but the love we Christians are supposed to have and share with each other.  We hear songs all the time ” You will know we are Christians by our LOVE…etc” .  We manifest Christ’s love for US by loving other people. yada yada yada.

I had an epiphany at that sermon.  I dont LOVE most people anymore.  I am pretty sure it has been beaten out of me after 26 years of retail pharmacy.  Any fire of Love that burned inside of me is a mere flicker anymore, I am convicted.  I’m embarrassed to admit that am feeling rather dead right now.  I am pretty good at hiding it, and faking it very well at work. I am hippity hop bubbly at work, run my butt off all day making people happy, but if the truth be revealed (and I am pretty sure God can read the heart), I just dont care right now.  Once I walk out the door, I DONT CARE.

What I do is more for self preservation ( dont yell at me again) than LOVE ( I do this because I care about you).  I just dont have any ambition to care about customers anymore.

Sometimes my dead side seeps to the surface.  Some lady was pissing at the counter because ” EVERY TIME I COME HERE YOU SAY YOU DONT HAVE A PRESCRIPTION FOR ME! I KNOW HE CALLED IT IN”. Well it turned out they called one of our competitors because she is a pharmacy shopper…she goes to several pharmacies.  I really wanted to let her have it..WOULD YOU LIKE TO APOLOGIZE TO ME FOR YOUR RUDENESS”..  ( like I can ever actually get away with THAT?) I did however make her very aware WHERE the script was called in and by whom…and it wasn’t HERE..and I made her wait extra long for it. No, I cant talk back, but I can make her wait.

A little bit of me dies every day I go to work.  I have a small group that meets in my house every couple of weeks.  We all attend the same church and have been meeting for years.  Of the 15 of us, I am the only person who works in a retail setting.  Most are engineers ( never talk to the public),  a couple work in the school system, and a few are stay at home mothers. I am not saying that any of them have it any easier of a JOB than I do, but its different.  Every one of them interact with the same core group of people every day.  I encounter whatever walks up to the counter. It can be an emotional crapshoot.

Well I am crapped out. ( to use a gambling term I guess).  Going on vacation fails to refuel me,  If anything it fuels my desire to leave the profession. We are so busy, going to work is like being in a hot crucible.  My company talks out of both sides of their mouths ” we value you…but not enough to give you time to rest, pee or eat, and oh by the way, cut your labor by another 10%) and clearly what I do is never good enough.

I am not a mind reader.  I can’t GUESS what the new processor is on somebodys 2013 insurance card, so tossing  a tantrum at my counter wont change anything, but when you get home, I hope you feel really stupid when you get my courtesy message reminding you to bring in your new card. I dont care.

I cannot manufacture drugs. If something is out of stock at the wholesaler I can’t just DIVINE it into the pharmacy because a customer yells at me. I just dont care what is in or out of backorder anymore.  If I have it…super…if I dont…well, I DONT.

I cannot control a doctor.  He will ok a waiting refill whenever he damn well chooses.  Not on my demand…or yours either BTW, so whatever…

I cannot control my workload so when you bring me a script and I tell you it will take 40 minutes, and you dont like that, doesn’t change the ugly fact that 15 people beat you to my counter.

It goes on and on…It makes me sad that I feel this way.  Its not my nature. My mother called me her “sensitive one”.  Its like somebody poured Lidocaine all over my heart. Its completely numb.

I mourn the death of the caring person I used to be.

And so it goes…….


Choosy Beggar!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:40 pm on Saturday, January 12, 2013

I appears that lots of people have taken my advice and have received their flu shots.  I had no idea I had so many local readers! haha.  Over the last 4 days my store alone have given 200+ shots, and I gave 61 of them myself on thursday alone.  It was one of those days where I had 13 hours on my feet with no break, no lunch, no rest, no potty.  And when you consider I had to run the pharmacy and check all the rxs…well you can guess it was a loooooong day…and I gave flu shots all night in my sleep…

More of the people getting their shots THIS time of year are cash payers: those who didn’t feel it was worth getting a shot unless they thought they felt a real risk I guess.  for the most part, those who came calling for flu shots would have taken a shot delivered with a old rusty needle and given by the deli clerk if it meant they were immunized.  The calls start as soon as the phones open for the day and pretty much continue til we are closed.  ” do you have flu shots??”  Yes, we do, come in between the hours of X and X and you can receive a shot..allow up to 3o minutes”.

Until the middle of this week we had Hi Dose, ID, Nasal and regular.  Now I got “nuttin honey”. We are out. nada…nothing but an empty tray.

So this lady calls on Thursday.  She wants to know if we had flu shots, and we answered with an affirmative, and gave her the usual spiel.  She wanted to know if we had preservative free, which we did not.  That went out of stock some time ago, and we had only received about 20 doses anyway since the request for it is pretty low. You would think ( or HOPE) that the answer NO would be enough.  But NOOOO, we had to argue.   ” WHY NOT?”. ” CAN YOU GET SOME?”  ” I HAVE TO HAVE IT”.

Unbelievable. I was only able to hear the tech’s side of this conversation but it didnt’ take a genius to figure it out…especially when I got the hilarious blow by blow by  tech extraordinare afterwards.

Ever patient, my new tech just kept repeating ” we have what we have, if you want a flu shot, you better come soon, they are going fast.”

Her response to end the call?   ” well, not if you are going to poison me!”

And a happy day to you too.


Get your flu shot!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:19 pm on Wednesday, January 9, 2013

For those of you who havent heard the recent news reports, Influenza is nasty this year and wreaking havoc in many states, including my own.  In fact Boston declared a state of emergency after 18 people have died…yes DIED from the flu.

Each year about 30,000 people die from influenza.  In hard hit years, it can reach almost 60,000.  Flu isn’t to be trifled with, people.  AND because of the fact that the flu that is hitting the US right now IS the strain that is in the vaccine, you can bet that all those people could have been protected IF THEY GOT THEIR FLU SHOT.

No, its not too late.

Unfortunately we in profession see a vicious cycle with flu shots:  First, we see a bad year for flu and then the next year everybody gets their shot because they saw how bad it was..or they got the flu themselves…then the rates of vaccines drop after a year or so because the flu outbreak is mild ( because everbody got the shot…duh!), then when vaccination rates are poor, we see an out break of flu …and the cycle starts again.

Get your shot…if the pharmacy still has vaccine!


Trying to help, not sure it was appreciated!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:04 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013

So…. as we all know its the new year.  I wrote some of my best wisdom a month or so about some of the things patients should be made aware of prior to the new year.   Since my customers aren’t aware that I write this famous ( or not) blog, they aren’t able to benefit from this amazing diatribe.  One such customer is Stan.

Stan and his wife are in their 70’s and both are on Medicare D…and Mrs Stan is on a medication that I suspect is being dropped from the formulary in 2013 because when I filled it Jan 5, I got a response from insurer…” transition supply limited to 31 days”.  To complicate matters, they tossed in the fact that they want an early refill in a couple of weeks because they are vacationing in the desert and didn’t want to be bothered with transferring it…( sigh).  So, when they came in, I made a point of printing it out, and explaining in detail what that possibly means and that they have all month to call the insurance and find out if they will have continued coverage or not. ” Because if you dont, its possible that later this month I can give you only ONE DAY worth of meds because you already have 30 days filled.”

I made it abundantly clear that  its important that they call as soon as possible.

He didn’t seem to want to make the effort, saying ” Ill just pay for it” until I informed him that the rx would cost him a bit over $400…EACH MONTH.

He Harrumphed a bit and added this bit  “Have YOU ever tried to CALL an insurance company?” and walked off.

You are kidding right, Stan?

Sadly for the benefit of the many, I occasionally have to sacrifice the few, so Stan, YOU have to call the insurance because I can’t sit on hold for a half hour for ONE patient when 50 others wait…especially when this isn’t my problem.  I am not a bettin’ woman but I’d put a few cents on the chance he doesn’t believe me and fails to make that call.

The ball is in his court.  I guess we will see what happens when I transmit that next claim.

Happy New Year!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:05 pm on Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pharmacy Chick wishes all of you the happiest of New Years!

We had a small get together of friends last night that went into the wee hours of the morning, partly because of the festivities and partly because I own a dog terrified of fireworks (Dear neighbor who shoots of fireworks at every occasion: may you get a huge boil on your butt that never heals).

Its common to get introspective at the beginning of each year, make resolutions and attempt to make huge life changes overnight.  Having done that, I have learned that practice is a perfect setup for failure. Other than the date ( and the mess in my kitchen) there isnt anything really different between Dec 31 and Jan 1, so trying to convince myself that the first day in Jan of any given year will cause me to instantly change all my bad habits isn’t likely to be successful.

For example:

I resolve so quit my occasional swearing: O Hell, who am I kidding…oops, I guess that takes care of that…

I resolve to never say bad things about anybody else…It would be a piece of cake if it wasnt for that biachi Karen..

I resolve to eat only healthy foods..right after I finish this pizza, chocolate cake, and snickers bar, and this entire tray of rice crispy treats and my 24 pak of coke….

I resolve to exercise every day…if I can get the dog off my lap, out of this snuggie and off the couch…NOT.

I resolve to be more patient:...if this petulant SLOW POKE OF A JERKFACE WOULD HURRY UP AT THE CHEKSTAND AHEAD OF ME!!!!!! ahem, never mind.

I think you get my point…

therefore, my “resolutions” are really more “hope-o-lutions”.  I hope to Love God,  play more golf, stay fit, find joy, play with my dogs, Love Mr chick a little more every day, find something interesting to write about, and  keep my sanity at work (probably the hardest one yet…)

Lucky ’13!

Blessings!  PC